CERN celebrates its 60th anniversary at UNESCO

Paris, 30 June - The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is organizing an event together with UNESCO to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of CERN, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where the convention was originally signed in 1953, leading to the establishment of the largest research facility in the field of particle physics the following year.

The event, entitled ‘60 Years of Science for Peace’, will be opened by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, among other prominent figures. It will bring together the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of several CERN Member States, researchers and members of the international scientific community, as well as representatives of UNESCO, CERN, European Space Agency (ESA) and European Southern Observatory (ESO) Member States.

The opening ceremony will be followed by a round table discussion on ‘Science for Peace’ with Alexei Grinbaum, researcher and philosopher of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission ; Fernando Quevedo, Director of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Triestre, Italy) ; Zehra Sayers, co-president of the scientific advisory committee of SESAME (International Centre for Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East based in Amman, Jordan) and Jan Van Den Biesen, vice-president of Philips Research R&D programmes.

Based in Geneva, CERN was created in the aftermath of World War II, following a 4 year conflict that had turned European research in physics to ashes. The idea of a European scientific laboratory emerged during the European culture conference held in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1949. The initial idea was to use fundamental research as a means to reach scientific excellence while rebuilding cooperation between states and fostering peace. The Convention establishing CERN was signed on 1 July 1953 in Paris, under the auspices of UNESCO, and came into effect in 1954. Today, sixty years later, it has become one the most striking examples of successful scientific cooperation in the world.

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